Hey hey! Sharing my new shirt today, which is By Hand London’s latest release, the Sarah Shirt. It was released yesterday, but don’t worry I’m not that fast: I helped the girls out on the pattern development so got to sew it up pre-release.
Now if you review my previous projects you’ll see a serious dearth of button-down, collared shirts. They’ve just never been my thing, but I’ve been trying a few new shapes and styles lately (turtlenecks, wide leg pants) so thought it was time to give them another go. And I like it a lot! Sarah has two views – one with long, full sleeves gathered into a little cuff and a rounded collar, and one with short cuffed sleeves and a pointed collar. Both have a super-swingy flared shape with box pleats on the front and back yokes – the big bonuses of this silhouette being extreeeeme comfort and very easy to fit.
I cut a straight size 8/12 of View 2 and the fit is pretty good, even without making any of my usual BHL adjustments. It’s great for us pears as the shoulder/bust fit is nice and snug while flaring over the hips and bum. Next time I’ll do a full biceps adjustment as the sleeves are a wee bit tight, but not unbearably so. (nb. it looked really cute sleeveless before I added them – potential future ‘hack’…) I’d also use less stiff interfacing in the collar – it was all I had to hand but it should definitely be lighter weight as it doesn’t want to lie completely flat.
The yoke is sewn burrito-style for a clean finish and the collar needs a bit of handstitching on the underside but winds up nice and tidy too. I used French seams throughout except the armsyces which are overlocked. I’d call it a weekender type of project – not too taxing but enough detail to keep it interesting. And I hope if you buy it you like the instruction booklet and tech diagrams, because that’s mostly my handiwork…!
My fabric is a lovely lightweight silk that I’ve had in my stash for ages after scooping it up in a House of Hackney sample sale. I bought a lot of it so I’ve still got enough left for another project. I think you’ll need something as drapey as you can manage for this shirt so you don’t get a stiff sticky-outy lampshade effect. Spray starch would be my pro tip to make cutting and stitching floaty fabrics easier.
I like how it looks with all the swinginess tucked in too! I’m really glad I got a little push to try a new silhouette – it’s been worn to work and on an evening out to the opera already, and I might make a second in a solid colour. You can pick up the Sarah PDF pattern here. Are you a fan of the swing?